By Annie Kearns
How do you go camping with kids and make it fun? Camping as a family can be enjoyable – for everyone!
How to Make Camping with Kids Amazing
If you’ve never taken your kids camping, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Perhaps you’ve never been camping yourself? If that’s the case, we strongly advise you to consider organising a camping trip for the whole family, since it can easily turn into one of the most memorable experiences that will change the way you spend your free time forever.
Apart from being budget-friendly, camping is a truly unique experience that brings you closer to nature and those you’re camping with. Naturally, this is only the case if everyone has the right mindset. To help you get ready for a camping trip, we’ve prepared some tips that experienced campers are all too familiar with.
Don’t force the idea
There are people who don’t like the idea of sleeping in a tent out in the open or even in a trailer on a camping site. They simply don’t feel comfortable being exposed to bad weather, insects, proximity of others or the fact they might have to share a shower booth and toilet with other campers. That’s all understandable and you should not insist on a camping trip if your family is not ready to give up the luxuries of their home even for a weekend. Still, you might want to point out the potential benefits and adventure that are lurking behind such a trip and tickle their imagination.
Honestly, I’m one of the people that doesn’t like tent sleeping. You could look into renting an RV for the night or maybe just doing the camp site during the day and going to a hotel that night.
Test the experience
Before you decide to splash your hard-earned cash on a complete camping equipment, consider giving camping a chance in your backyard. Borrow a tent or rent one from a store offering such service and put it up just yards from your home. Spend a night or two sleeping in the tent with your kids and see how they feel about the idea. If they are ok with it, great! You can start planning your first real camping trip.
Get all the right equipment
You might want to refrain from purchasing everything you need for your first trip. Instead, consider renting the equipment for your first trip. In case you and your family realise that camping is not your cup of tea, you can simply return the equipment and you won’t have to deal with selling it to cut your costs. On the other hand, if you find it exciting and worth pursuing in the future, start investing in quality camping gear that should last for years to come. Apart from the tent, the most important equipment includes sleeping bags, air mats or mattresses, chairs and at least one table, as well as cooking equipment and lights.
Luckily, there is a wide range of products available nowadays, but make sure you don’t make any compromise when it comes to quality. Your whole experience may depend on whether your tent is waterproof enough, for example. So, always go for the best item you can afford and don’t forget that after each camping trip, you’ll probably add some things to the “to-buy” list.
One of the secrets of a successful camping trip is to take everything you need with you, but not too much. Also, you need to pack your stuff so that you can easily find what you need once you get to your destination. Your camping supplies need to be organised well and clearly labelled. Make sure to bring enough food, especially if there is no store close to your camping location. Restrict your kids to bringing just one or two of their favourite toys or games, since you don’t want to move the whole home with you, but you still want them to feel comfortable.
Have a Plan B
You might plan to go hiking or swimming while on a camping trip, but the weather is often too unpredictable and you might find yourself “trapped” inside the tent for hours. That’s where your creativity should be put to use. Organise some fun activities for the kids. You can play games, tell ghost stories (unless there’s a thunderstorm and you think the kids would be scared), read books or listen to music.
Photo credit Pixabay
What to bring?
You need to bring a first-aid kit, since some cuts or bruises might have to be treated. Also, an insect repellent is a must if you’re visiting an area where mosquitoes are a problem. If your kids need some regular therapy, make sure you have all the supplies with you and don’t rely on buying them when you get to your destination. Also, don’t forget something you can use outside for fun, such as a ball, badminton racquets or Frisbee.
What to do?
Have fun. Talk to each other. Play games. Experience something new. Test your skills in an environment where resources are rather limited. Show your kids that if they rely on their skills, they can survive even the greatest changes. All this will bring you great benefits in terms of forming close bonds with your kids and teaching them to get outside their comfort zone in order to experience something new, something great.
A camping trip with kids can be difficult to plan and organise, but the benefits you could reap are so great that it would be a pity not to invest some time and effort. Also, once you’ve done it, you’ll gain invaluable experience and all your next trips will be much easier to organise. Finally, you need to understand that this list of tips doesn’t cover all the important details, but it should at least help you start thinking in the right direction. Happy camping!